Young: Texas Is Dangerous

Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Bill Young doesn't mince words when asked what he thinks about the Texas Longhorns in preparation of Saturday's visit to Austin. "Texas is Texas," Young said.

However, Texas hasn't seemed like Texas lately. The Longhorns are in the midst of a three-game skid and are coming off an embarrassing 39-14 beatdown at Kansas State.

The No. 10 Cowboys, on the other hand, are coming off perhaps their most impressive victory of the year with a 55-28 shellacking of then-No. 22 Baylor.

Young credited his defensive assistant coaches and his players for buying into a scheme that held Baylor's eighth-ranked offense in check and limited dual-threat quarterback Robert Griffin III to just 15 yards rushing on the day.

"I think our plan was excellent, we were talking to our team on Friday that if we'd had a month to prepare, I don't think we would have had a better plan than what we had (against Baylor)," Young said. "As it turned out, it worked. I thought they played hard, they played smart and they didn't make mistakes."

And the Cowboys will have to continue the trend they've started if the team hopes to leave the Texas state capitol with their first victory since World War II.

Even though the Longhorns are down, Young said he knows they are capable of far more than they've shown in 2010.

"I think that they're an outstanding football team," he said. "I know that they lost a lot of games, but they are tremendously talented. You look back, I don't know how many five-star and four-star recruits they have in their program. They're a lot better than they're playing.

"They've kind of been snake-bit: the ball is right on the money and all of sudden the balls tipped and now they're running the other way, scoring touchdowns on defense. It puts you in a bind."

In fact, the Longhorns are one of the most snake-bitten teams in the country. Texas was ranked in the top five nationally before the season but the team has been plagued by turnovers, particularly sophomore quarterback Garrett Gilbert, who has thrown for more than 2,000 yards already but has 14 interceptions with just seven touchdowns passes.

Young said Gilbert is capable of being one of the league's best signal callers when he's confident and he is also underestimated as a running threat.

"I think you've got to be concerned both ways," he said. "He's a lot faster and more athletic than a lot of people give him credit for. I think he's like 6-4, 220 or something like that, so he's a big guy once he gets loose into the secondary."

Even though Young's defense has performed better in recent weeks and has developed a penchant for taking the ball away, which sets up nicely against Texas, Young said his defense can't get ahead of itself like it did against the last versatile and physically imposing offense it faced — Nebraska.

With the magnitude of the game weighing heavily on a group of Cowboys trying to earn their first Big 12 South title, Young said it is important to keep their minds on the task at hand because Texas is better than its record indicates.

"They've got a lot of skill," he said. "We're going to have to play our best down there to win."


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